Supreme Court Declines to Review 5th Circuit’s Dismissal of Lawsuit Challenging Texas Voter Suppression Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Oct. 2, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition seeking review of a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to dismiss a federal lawsuit — which challenged Texas voter suppression law Senate Bill 1111 — for lack of standing. 

Texas State League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Voto Latino’s petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court did not ask the Court to review the merits of the underlying lawsuit challenging the voter suppression law, which imposes stringent residency requirements on voters seeking to register in the Lone Star State. Rather, the petition sought review and reversal of the 5th Circuit’s decision concluding that the voter registration organizations behind the federal lawsuit challenging S.B. 1111 lacked standing (meaning capacity to bring a lawsuit in court). In particular, the petitioners argued that they have standing and that the 5th Circuit erred in holding the opposite. 

The lawsuit from which the petition arose alleged that three separate provisions of S.B. 1111 — which prohibit voters from registering to vote using a prior address after they moved, ban voters from registering to vote where they do not live full time and create stricter ID requirements for those registering to vote using a P.O. box — violated the First, 14th and 26th Amendments. 

Back in August 2022, a federal district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and blocked two of the challenged provisions in their entirety — as well as certain aspects of the third provision pertaining to registering to vote using a P.O. box — for being unconstitutional. 

Multiple Texas officials, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), appealed this decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the district court’s decision and dismissed the lawsuit after finding that the two organizations behind the lawsuit lacked standing to sue over S.B. 1111, thereby ending Texas State LULAC and Voto Latino’s challenge to the law. 

In February 2023, the two voting rights organizations filed a petition for writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to reverse the 5th Circuit’s decision. Today’s Supreme Court order declining to review the organizations’ petition means that the case is over and the anti-voting law continues to remain in place.

Read the order here.

Learn more about the case here.